SunPass is one of the major toll transponders that motorists in Florida and other states in the southeastern region of the U.S use to settle their toll fees. It’s a portable device typically installed inside the car’s windshield beside the rearview mirror.
The device is designed to transmit wireless signals to toll booths which gives authorization for the booths to withdraw the toll fee from the driver’s prepaid account.
SunPass is owned, run, and managed by Florida’s Department of Transportation. It comes in variants; the SunPass Mini and SunPass Pro. There are some differences between the SunPass Mini and SunPass Pro. Let’s get to it in this SunPass Pro vs. SunPass Mini comparison.
It’s just like checking out the differences between the lite and pro versions of a certain make and model of a smartphone. The differences between the SunPass and SunPass Pro include the following:
The SunPass Mini is the lesser model. This means it has a very limited jurisdiction or scope of validity. Its jurisdiction is much smaller compared to the SunPass Pro.
Motorists using the SunPass Mini transponder are limited to traveling within three states; Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. Any other state will require a more advanced transponder.
On the flip side, the SunPass Pro has a much wider scope of validity or jurisdiction. It can cover the toll roads and bridges the SunPass Mini covers and beyond. Other states that the SunPass Pro covers include;
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New York
The SunPass Pro is the superior version and gives motorists wide access, enabling fluid travel with a single toll account.
How much is a SunPass? As with the Mini and Pro versions of other gadgets, the SunPass Mini is much more affordable than the SunPass Pro. The price difference is because the SunPass Mini offers less value than the SunPass Pro.
The SunPass Mini transponder costs $4.99 (with tax). On the other hand, the SunPass Pro transponder costs $14.95 (tax inclusive). Also affordable, but way more than the cost of SunPass Mini.
However, when you consider their jurisdiction, the SunPass Pro offers much more value for its price. The price of the SunPass Pro transponder is almost thrice the price of the SunPass Mini transponder, but while it covers up to roads, freeways, express lanes, and bridges across up to 19 states, the SunPass Mini covers those structures across three states. A vast difference.
One version can be upgraded to the other. Motorists who want to travel to other states beyond the trio of Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina will need to upgrade to the SunPass Pro transponder to enhance their access.
This means if you have the SunPass Pro, there’s no need to get a SunPass Mini. On the other hand, if you use SunPass Mini, you may need to upgrade to the SunPass Pro. This brings us to how to upgrade to the pro version.
As we said earlier, if you plan to travel to states outside Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, you must upgrade to SunPass Pro. This is an easy process. All you have to do is update your transponder status on your SunPass account.
You can access your SunPass account through the website (www.sunpass.com/login) or the mobile application. Once you’ve logged in to your SunPass account, scroll through the menu and select “Transponders and Status,” then click update.
This will upgrade you from SunPass Mini to SunPass Pro. Don’t mistake purchasing the SunPass Pro without upgrading your account first. That can lead to double charges when you drive past a toll booth.
The only significant difference between UniPass ad SunPass Pro is that while the Central Florida Expressway Authority owns the former, the latter is owned by Florida’s Department of Transportation (Florida’s Turnpike Electronic Payment System).
They both cost $14.95 (tax inclusive}.
They both cover roads, express lanes, roads marked “SunPass lanes,” as well as bridges across 19 states in the country. UniPass and SunPass Pro work on every toll road where the E-ZPass is valid and accepted.
Both transponders can be installed on a vehicle and re-installed on another vehicle. They both use suction cups to stay glued to the car’s windshield.
The installation of the UniPass and SunPass is not just restricted to private automobiles; they can also be used on motorcycles and even rental vehicles.
UniPass and SunPass can also be used to pay for parking spaces, such as the ones at international airports and port Canaveral cruise terminals.
Both transponders are portable devices. However, the UniPass is available in black and white. This gives you more options for the one you want to buy.
UniPass offers its users a higher discount percentage than SunPass. Motorists using SunPass enjoy up to 25% compared to cash or TOLL-BY-PLATE. On the other hand, motorists using UniPass get to enjoy up to a 30% discount.
SunPass Pro vs SunPass Mini – Conclusion
Sunpass Mini and SunPass Pro differ in many ways, and your choice of which one to go for should depend on certain factors. The SunPass Mini can’t cover more than three states, can’t be re-installed on another vehicle, and can’t be used on rentals and motorcycles.
The SunPass Mini has a much more attractive price tag. Still, if the price is the only thing you’re considering and not the value offered, you may purchase the SunPass Mini only to discover later that you need to upgrade to SunPass Pro.
Also, remember that with SunPass Mini, you cannot pay for parking spaces. As for the UniPass, it’s almost the same as the SunPass Pro. They offer the same benefits to motorists. Your choice between these two should be down to your preference based on the discount rate or issuer.